Chevrolet SS sedan offers full-size, sharp looks


A big difference between the SS and a new version of the Impala, released last year, is that the SS has a standard V8 under its hood, making over 400 horsepower. And, the SS delivers the power to the rear wheels, old-school style.

It follows a long line of Chevrolets called SS, for Super Sport. Starting in the 1960s, if you wanted the sportier version of a Chevy, you chose the SS.

This one is all-American in that regard. After all, what says good old USA better than a big car with a big V8.

But the SS actually comes here via Australia. General Motors' Holden division builds it down under as a variation on a car they sell there.

The SS is meant to fill a performance niche. Think of it as a Camaro disguised as a large sedan. It's actually not as big inside as the Impala, and it even costs more. There's only one optional extra: A sunroof.

There is one thing in the options column you have to pay for: A gas guzzler tax. With EPA estimates of 14 city and 21 highway, the federal government adds a penalty.

Its closest competitor is the Dodge Charger, another rear wheel drive V8 car from a domestic brand. It's available with similar power in a similar size.

Chevrolet, using the name SS by itself, is something new. Previous models that were SSes used the name in conjunction with another model name. Chevy says this is a niche car, so it's really pretty focused. Nonetheless, they spent much of last year getting the name out there.

Chevrolet introduced the SS at the start of last year's NASCAR season, along with the SS race car. Any time anyone saw the likes of Jimmy Johnson or Jeff Gordon in a race, they saw the name SS.

In street trim it's no race car, but it's certainly a performance car, right down to the huge Brembo brakes.

Think of the SS as one ride that can haul your family, haul your groceries and haul, well, you know.

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